New winter storage at Southport Island Marine

Sat, 08/03/2019 - 8:30am

There are plans afoot at Southport Island Marine on Hendricks Hill Road. The small-boat storage and maintenance yard owned by Sharon and Douglas Goldhirsch since May 2000 employs up to 12 local craftspeople. Together, they can handle almost anything from painting to fiberglass repair, repowering, systems maintenance and repair, and complete refits.

Over the years they’ve serviced countless boats and built new ones such as the David Nutt-designed Southport 30, the Harry Bryan-designed Handy Billy 21 (and its variant the Southport 21), and one-off custom builds.

But, said Douglas, “There’s a lot of competition for new builds and if you only build one or two a year you end up spending most of the profit on marketing, going to boat shows and such.”

So the Goldhirschs are branching out and are hoping to build a 10,000 square foot storage building, the biggest that zoning will allow on their site.

“Heated winter storage is where the growth is in our industry. Clients with really nice boats want really nice storage,” Douglas said.

For a small family-owned business, it’s a large financial undertaking. “It’s a risk,” said Douglas. “So I’m hoping that people who are interested will let me know. I’m going to offer a discount to anyone who subscribes ahead of time.”

The new building will accommodate boats up to 45 feet and will compliment the yard’s existing winter-storage facilities, including sheds particularly suitable for wooden boats. It is hoped that the envisioned new facility will be up and running by fall 2021.